2 - 3
FATMAP difficulty grade
This cruise along the Leeds-Liverpool canal takes you through some of the most bucolic, stereotypically-British countryside you will find anywhere.
The walk is completely non-technical and suitable for the whole family.
It can be done in either way and is made possible by the train which links New Lane and Parbold villages.
We've drawn it starting in Parbold because it's the bigger of the 2 villages and it's a good place to pick up some supplies. From Parbold train station (where there's a carpark) head south to a lovely stone bridge over the canal.
Turn right just before crossing the bridge and get onto the path you'll follow all the way to New Lane.
As you drift away from Parbold village there are fewer and fewer houses next to the canal, and the trip to Burscough is mainly alongside fields and woods.
As you enter the outskirts of Burscough you'll reach a second lovely stone bridge which takes you over the junction with the Rufford branch of the canal.
Once over the bridge there are more and more houses around you, and you'll soon find yourself passing through the middle of Burscough village centre.
The village is home to some great pubs and restaurants and - if you get a little carried away in the pub and don't fancy walking any further - a station linked to Parbold. Keep going out of the far side of Burscough and follow the path which leads easily to the road at New Lane, passing several interesting swing bridges en route.
Upon reaching the road, hang a right and stroll to New Lane station.
Catch the train back to Parbold and enjoy a drink in one of the village's many cafes and pubs.